Barbour jackets have been a wardrobe staple for generations. Known for their waxed cotton and signature tartan lining, these jackets are both fashionable and functional.
Two of Barbour’s most popular heritage styles are the Bristol and Beaufort jackets. But what’s the difference between these Barbour classics?
Here’s a detailed comparison of the Barbour Bristol vs Beaufort to help you decide which one is best for your needs.
A Brief Comparison Table
|Hip to thigh length
|Full back pleats
|Branded storm cuffs
|Olive, rustic, multiple colors
|Medium to high
Overview of the Barbour Bristol Jacket
The Barbour Bristol jacket is inspired by archival 1960s models. This refined style features a neat fit through the body and shoulders. Key characteristics include:
- Slimmer fit through the body and shoulders compared to the Beaufort
- Front chest patch pockets with flap closure
- Two handwarmer pockets on lower half of jacket
- Adjustable back waist with side buckles
- Tartan lining
- Medium weight 6oz Sylkoil waxed cotton outer
- Black or navy available colors
The Bristol’s tailored fit gives it a dressier, more refined look than the traditional Beaufort jacket. It’s stylish and flattering without the boxiness of some heritage jackets. The Bristol is a versatile style that works well for both city and country pursuits.
Overview of the Barbour Beaufort Jacket
The Beaufort is one of Barbour’s original and most famous styles. Created in 1983, it’s inspired by archival designs from the Duke of Beaufort. Key features include:
- Classic regular fit through the body
- Front chest patch pockets with flaps
- Two lower handwarmer pockets
- Back vents for ease of movement
- Corduroy collar
- Tartan lining
- Medium weight 6oz Sylkoil waxed cotton outer
- More color choices including green, navy, black, brown
With its roomier cut, the Beaufort offers rugged versatility. It provides ample room for layering in cold weather. The looser boxier fit also allows freedom of movement for outdoor activities. Overall, the Beaufort has a traditional country look and feel.
Key Differences Between Barbour Bristol And Beaufort Jackets
Weight and Weather Protection
Both the Bristol and Beaufort have 6oz medium weight Sylkoil waxed cotton. This fabric provides sufficient weather resistance for daily wear in spring, fall, and winter. Key qualities of waxed cotton include:
- Water and wind resistant
- Repels light rain and snow
- Breathes well, doesn’t overheat
- Softens and molds to body over time
- Ages beautifully developing a patina
The Bristol and Beaufort have comparable durability.
With rewaxing every 2-3 years, they can last decades with care.
Neither jacket is suited for heavy downpours or subzero temps.
But they provide ample weather protection for daily outdoor use.
For extreme wet weather, Barbour’s heavier weight 8oz and 10oz Sylkoil jackets are better choices. The Barbour Northumbria has 10oz waxed cotton for harsh, cold climates.
Style and Fit Comparison
The main differences between the Bristol and Beaufort are fit and style:
- Slim tailored fit through body and shoulders
- Refined minimal styling details
- Dressier, modern vibe
- Classic regular fit, boxy silhouette
- Traditional country style
- Relaxed fit for layering
The Beaufort has roomier dimensions all around:
- 1 to 2 inches larger in chest
- Up to 1.5 inches longer in length
- Full back pleats vs Bristol’s darted back
- Underarm gussets for ease of movement
The Bristol is more shaped and streamlined. It has a modern polished look, while the Beaufort is all traditional sporting heritage. The Bristol flatters athletic and slim builds. The Beaufort accommodates broader frames and allows more insulation underneath.
Pockets and Functionality
Both jackets have the same pocket layout:
- Two flap patch pockets on chest
- Two handwarmer pockets on lower half
The roomier Beaufort pockets allow you to easily stash gloves or other accessories. The Bristol’s pockets have a neater, more tailored look. But small items can bulge out of the pockets due to the slimmer fit.
For accessories, the Beaufort has a corduroy collar, storm cuffs, and rear game pocket. The Bristol has a knitted collar, side buckles, and simple clean back.
The Beaufort’s corduroy collar, storm cuffs, and game pocket offer slightly more weather protection and functionality. But the Bristol’s streamlined look has broader appeal.
Climate and Use
The Barbour Bristol and Beaufort both work well as 3-season jackets in temperature ranges around 40°F to 60°F.
The tailored Bristol excels as an urban commuter style. For weekends in the country, the looser Beaufort fits the part.
For blustery winter days under 40°F, the Beaufort provides better insulation and wind blocking with its roomier layers. But either jacket pairs well with Barbour quilted liners for added warmth.
With proper reproofing, the Bristol or Beaufort stand up to light rain and snow. For heavy storms, bring a rain parka shell.
Both jackets allow ample mobility with the Bristol having a slight edge. The Beaufort’s back vents and side pleats offer superior venting on warmer days.
Style Pairings and Outfit Ideas
- Casual button-downs or polos
- Cashmere crew neck sweaters
- Oxford shirts
- Chinos or jeans
- Leather boots or brogue shoes
- Plaid flannel or chambray shirts
- Cable knit sweaters or cardigans
- Jeans or corduroys
- Bean boots or workboots
- Traditional accessories like scarves or gloves
The Bristol’s refined look pairs well with smart-casual attire for the city.
The Beaufort matches best with country staples like boots, flannels, and knitwear.
Both jackets work with casual tailored outfits. Just keep the aesthetic consistent with the jacket’s vibe.
The Barbour Bristol and Beaufort both cost around $399 direct from Barbour. So pricing doesn’t help choose one over the other.
When shopping, look for sales on prior seasons’ colors. Or check retailers like Orvis and Nordstrom for discounts. Purchasing an older Beaufort or Bristol on eBay is another way to get a deal.
For the price, you’re investing in decades of wear from a heritage brand. With proper care, a Barbour jacket should last 20+ years. So the upfront cost averages out to $20 or less annually – great value for a wardrobe staple.
Consider cost per use, not just price tag. A well-chosen Barbour jacket gets worn routinely and pairs with almost anything.
How to Choose Between Beaufort And Bristol?
Picking between the Barbour Beaufort vs Bristol ultimately comes down to style preferences and intended use.
The Beaufort is the original country classic. Go with the Beaufort if you want:
- A roomier relaxed-fit silhouette
- Traditional British heritage look
- Superior layering for cold and active pursuits
The Bristol offers a more refined modern look. Choose the Bristol if you prefer:
- A contemporary slim-fitting silhouette
- A jacket that feels dressy yet casual
- A coat for temperate fall and spring days
Also Read: Comparison of Barbour Ashby And Beaufort Jackets.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
The main differences are fit and style. The Beaufort has a roomy traditional silhouette with a boxy shape. The Bristol has a more tailored modern slim fit.
The Beaufort also has a few more weatherproofing features like its corduroy collar. But both jackets are comparable for light to moderate weather conditions.
The Beaufort provides medium insulation on its own. The regular loose fit allows layering extra sweaters or liners underneath for colder temps. With a thermal liner, the Beaufort keeps you cozy down to around freezing.
Kate Middleton has worn several Barbour styles over the years. Some of her favorites include:
1. Barbour Ladies Utility Waxed Jacket
2. Barbour Ladies Cavalry Polarquilt Jacket
3. Barbour Ladies Defence Liddesdale Quilted Jacket
She often chooses longer length Barbour jacket styles. And she wears waxed cotton, quilted, and lightweight down versions depending on the occasion.
Olive is the most popular Barbour color. The signature olive shade has been used in their waxed jackets for decades.
Some other favorite Barbour colors are navy, rustic, black, and sage. More unique shades like Durham Green, Redgauntlet, and Skyfall Blue are also available.
You can’t go wrong with either of these Barbour legends. Both are quality wardrobe investments that deliver timeless style. Determine which fit and look you like best. Then break out your new Barbour for many seasons of enjoyment!